Hunslet v Whitehaven: Hunslet still eyeing top spot despite injury setback to Ben Heaton

HUNSLET HAVE suffered a blow ahead of today’s home clash with Betfred League One leaders Whitehaven (3pm), but boss Gary Thornton has not given up hope of snatching top spot in the table.
Hunslet's  Ben Heaton.Hunslet's  Ben Heaton.
Hunslet's Ben Heaton.

Centre Ben Heaton needs surgery to repair a tendon in a thumb after an accident at work and will miss the rest of the season.

That is a major setback for Hunslet – who are fifth, five points behind Whitehaven – but Thornton insisted: “We have still got ambitions to finish top.”

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He said: “Unfortunately we are relying on teams around us slipping up, but every game is important and we have to go into every game to win it. If we finish top, great, but if not we want to finish as high as we can to give ourselves the best possible chance in the play-offs.”

Thornton added: “Whitehaven are running away from everybody and we have got to try and claw them back in. If we win it brings them closer to everybody so it’s a massive game. We felt a bit aggrieved when we lost up there and in our last two home games we have been poor so we want to put that right for the fans.”

Hunslet had no game last weekend which has given players extra time to prepare. Jack Lee is expected to be available after an ankle injury and Duane Straugheir (shin) is also close to making his comeback.